Delicate Ways to Tell Wedding Guests ‘No Children’

While many brides welcome children into their ceremonies and receptions, what if you decide you would rather young ones didn’t attend? Is there a gentle way to inform your guests or are you bound to end up offending someone? Let’s look at delicate ways to tell wedding guests that no children are allowed!

Young Boy making face
The Huffington Post

Using Only the Adults Names on the Invitation

For many brides, the solution is to address only the adults on the invitation, rather than using the name “and family.” This is certainly a very subtle way to let guests know that children are not invited, however, it may be a bit too subtle. Some individuals may believe that when an invitation is addressed to them and their spouse, the children are an automatic inclusion.

A Kind Explanation

Some brides are very sensitive to their guests’ feelings and want to explain why no children are invited. This is a great way to let guests know your preferences, and you can use explanations similar to these:

  • Our reception will feature an open bar and adult themes, and is not suitable for children.
  • While we adore your children, our ceremony and reception has been planned with adults only in mind. We want our guests to enjoy a day to relax, celebrate and have a great time. Adults only.

Blame It On Someone Else

Perhaps our favorite option (because it allows you to tell guests plainly that no children are allowed without being the “bad guy”) is to blame it on someone else. Use phrases like these:

  • Venue rules prohibit individuals under the age of 18.
  • Regrettably, no children will be permitted due to venue guidelines.
  • Adults only, at venue management’s request.

Be Funny

If your wedding is laid back or humorous, you can use that tone to let guests know that no children will be permitted. Phrases like the following will make your guests laugh (hopefully) and let them know that your reception and ceremony is adults only:

  • There will be alcohol. There will likely be cursing. The potential for dirty jokes is there. Please leave your kids at home.
  • Kids don’t like romance. It’s yuck. Do them a favor and make arrangements for their care on this day.
  • Know what’s worse than rain on a wedding day? The tears of small children. Adults only.

No Bones About It

Finally, if you’re not afraid of offending anyone, simply state in plain terms on your invitation that no children are allowed. Phrases like these will work just fine:

  • No children.
  • Adults only.
  • No one under the age of 18.

These are all great ways to let your guests know that children will not be permitted at your ceremony and/or reception. Which are your favorite methods? Do you prefer the subtle, kind explanation or would you rather be funny about telling your guests to leave their kids at home? Let us know in the comments below!

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